Adam Braithwaite on RR and his time at Michigan

Adam Braithwaite was promoted last season to Safety coach after spending the previous two seasons as a staff assistant.  After the Rich Rodriguez was let go, Braithwaite moved on to Christopher Newton University to be their new defensive coordinator.  In a recent interview Braithwaite spoke about his time at Michigan:

Q: Michigan (where Rodriguez went 15-22 in three tumultuous seasons that included allegations that the program exceeded NCAA limits on practice time) being a case in point. What was that whole experience like for you?
A: Like everything, it’s a learning experience. It was a delayed reaction. I’d say we may be the only staff ever to get fired after a bowl game (the Wolverines lost 52-14 to Mississippi State in the Gator Bowl). So that was difficult in a lot of ways, from dealing with our players to dealing with recruiting and then the actual job search once you were without work.
Q: Things seemed to go so quickly from the optimism that surrounded Rodriguez when he arrived at Michigan (in 2007 from West Virginia) to the turmoil of his last months on the job. How did you deal with that as a member of his staff?
A: There were a lot of expectations going into that, and a lot of excitement in going to a place like Michigan. It just goes to show you that coaching is not an exact science, and there are a lot of factors that go into winning and losing, and the difference between winning and losing can be some small things. There’s a lot of moving parts in football, and you have to have the majority of them working together, or things aren’t going to go right. We were disappointed with the ending. We felt like things were going in the right direction, but that’s the way it goes at that level.
Q: You also worked with Rodriguez, from 2005-06, at West Virginia (which on Friday accepted sanctions, including two years’ probation, after the NCAA ruled that ex-head coaches Rodriguez and Bill Stewart failed to monitor their staffs). Is Rodriguez (now a CBS analyst) someone you still believe in? Do you think he’ll coach again?
A: I think you’ll definitely see Coach again. He’s the ultimate competitor, and he’s not going to be out of coaching for long if he can help it. I do believe in what he did and respect him a lot and am grateful for everything that he’s done for me.

You have to appreciate how much Braithwaite truly cared for Rich Rodriguez and the Michigan Football team last season, but the question that can’t be avoided is whether or not the position came to him to fast to soon.  When the spot on the staff opened, fans clamored nationally for many highly regarded coaches.  But with Rodriguez clinging to his spot as head coach, no top assistant would come to Ann Arbor.  How hard Rodriguez actually tried to go outside his current staff to hire a new coach is a debatable issue to say the least.  We here wish Adam Braithwaite and Rich Rodriguez the best in their future endeavors.  And please no more awkward Brady Hoke signing day interviews by Rich Rodriguez.

The Michigan Quarterback Dilemma

With Zeke Pike committing to Auburn on Wednesday, what does Michigan do about the future of the quarterback position? I have to imagine that they want to sign a QB nearly every year and this year IMO is very critical that we do. So where do we go from here? Below are a list of potential candidates.

Most Likely Candidates

Austin Appleby – North Canton, OH – 6’5" 230. Good sized kid. There have been a few rumors that he’s been offered, but I have not been able to confirm this yet. He has decent mobility and a good arm. He did miss part of last season due to a knee injury, so there are some questions with his health. Offers: Akron, Kent State, Temple and Toledo.

Tyler O’Connor – Lima, OH – 6’3" 210. I actually like him more than Appleby. Throws very well on the run and can really spin the ball. WOTS is that interest has been gaining with him over the past week with the knowledge of Pike likely committing to Auburn. Offers: Indiana, Louisville, Michigan State, Northwestern, Vanderbilt, West Virginia and some MAC schools.


The Next Group

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A Chat with U of M Commit Caleb Stacey

Ohio offensive lineman Caleb Stacey became Michigan’s second verbal commit of the 2012 class Saturday evening. He is one of the best offensive linemen in a loaded Ohio class this year. Caleb is pretty pumped about his commit and was nice enough to answer a few questions for us!

Sean O’Connell: Current height and weight?

Caleb Stacey: “6’4  285 lbs.”

Sean O’Connell: What other offers do you have?

Caleb Stacey: “Ohio, Toledo, Bowling Green, Illinois, Indiana, Boston College, NC-State, Wake Forest, South Florida, West Virginia, Cincinnati, Miami(OH), and of course THE Michigan Wolverines!”

Sean O’Connell: Being from Ohio, did you grow up an Ohio State fan? Did you have any contact with them?

Caleb Stacey: “Growing up I was never really a fan of any team, I tried to follow everyone. I did have a little contact with OSU they stopped by my school once to meet me but after that no further contact.”

Sean O’Connell: Have you been catching a lot of heat for committing to Michigan yet?

Caleb Stacey: “I haven’t been catching any heat at all, besides from the loyal OSU fans that live in my neighborhood, but nothing more than a joke and a little messing around. Everyone seems excited in Ann Arbor about my commitment and I know my family and I are really jacked up about Michigan.”

Sean O’Connell: So you visited Ann Arbor a little over a week ago, I’m assuming that visit went very well?

Caleb Stacey: “My visit to Ann Arbor went extremely well. It was actually St. Patrick’s Day when I took an unofficial to Michigan so I got a chance to see how the student life was.”

Sean O’Connell: Was it coach Hoke who offered you? What was your reaction?

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A Chat with Kyle Dodson

Kyle Dodson is one of the best offensive linemen in the state of Ohio for the 2012 recruiting class. Offensive tackle is a major need for Michigan’s class and Dodson will surely be one of Big Blue’s highest priorities.

Sean O’Connell: Who do you have offers from at this point?

Kyle Dodson: “I have offers from Michigan State, Illinois, West Virginia, North Carolina State, Michigan, and Ohio.”

Sean O’Connell: So many people assume that most Ohio kids grew up Buckeye fans, is that the case with you? If not, do you follow for a certain team?

Kyle Dodson: “I grew up a Buckeyes fan, but that has nothing to do with where I will fit in the best and where I will choose to study and play football.”

Sean O’Connell: When you make the final decision on a school, what are the main factors you will be looking at?

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A Chat with Dan Voltz

Michigan only inked  two offensive linemen in their 2011 recruiting class. Therefore, the coaches will be hitting that area very hard for 2012, possibly taking 5 kids. Illinois guard Dan Voltz is one of the Wolverine’s early targets and he recently answered a few questions about his recruitment for

Sean O’Connell: How many offers do you hold?

Dan Voltz: “I currently hold 16 offers. They are from Arizona, Boston College, Cincinnati, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Purdue, Stanford, Vanderbilt, West Virginia, Western Michigan, and Wisconsin.”

Sean O’Connell: What are your top three factors when looking at schools?

Dan Voltz: “Football tradition, academics, and campus.”

Sean O’Connell: Does location matter?

Dan Voltz: “Location does matter. I am a big midwest guy and would love to play football in the midwest. But if there is a school outside of the midwest that I like, I won’t hesitate to look at it.”

Sean O’Connell: Do you have a school you grew up cheering for?  If so will that factor into your decision?

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